The Los Angeles class of submarines are nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) in service with the United States Navy. Also known as the 688 class (pronounced "six-eighty-eight") after the hull number of lead vessel USS Los Angeles (SSN-688), 62 were built from 1972 to 1996, the latter 23 to an improved 688i standard. As of 2022, 26 of the Los Angeles class remain in commission—more than any other class in the world—and they account for more than half of the U.S. Navy's 50 fast attack submarines.
Submarines of this class are named after American towns and cities, such as Albany, New York; Los Angeles, California; and Tucson, Arizona, with the exception of USS Hyman G. Rickover, named for the "father of the nuclear Navy." This was a change from traditionally naming attack submarines after marine animals, such as USS Seawolf or USS Shark. Rickover's response to the decision to name the submarines after cities (and occasionally politicians influential in defense issues) was that "Fish don't vote."
Variants of the Los Angeles
In 1982, after building 31 boats, the class underwent a minor redesign. The following eight that made up the second "flight" of subs had 12 new vertical launch tubes that could fire Tomahawk missiles. The last 23 had a significant upgrade with the 688i improvement program. These boats are quieter, with more advanced electronics, sensors, and noise-reduction technology. The diving planes are placed at the bow rather than on the sail, and are retractable. A further four boats were proposed by the Navy, but later cancelled.
The Hunt for Red October
The star of the classic 1990 thriller film, “Hunt for Red October,” has retired, according to a Navy release.
No, not Sean Connery, the Soviet-with-an-inexplicable-Scottish-accent boat commander, but the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine Dallas.
Dallas was honored during an inactivation ceremony Dec. 5 at Naval Base Kitsap after 36 years of service, and will soon be decommissioned at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington.
While Dallas was prominently featured in both the Tom Clancy novel and the blockbuster movie bearing the book’s name, it was the submarine Houston that represented Dallas during exterior shots.
Scenes depicting submarine interiors, meanwhile, were filmed using an elaborate hydraulic motion set that could mimic the depth changes and turns of a submarine.
“When commissioned on July 18, 1981, Dallas was hailed as the cutting edge of the nation’s defense system,” said Capt. Robert Jezek, representative for Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
“For all these years Dallas carried out missions vital to national security, deployed 14 times, steamed [more than] one million miles, visited [more than] 30 countries, starred in one blockbuster movie, and has been considered home for hundreds of Sailors over the years, some of which are in the audience today.”
Dallas wrapped up its final deployment on Nov. 22, 2016.
Navy Times, 2017